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Massachusetts: same-sex couples divorce could be more difficult

Same-sex couples in Massachusetts have expressed their excitement over being able to legally marry. While many have been fighting for this right for quite some time, what they may not have thought about was the divorce process. A recent article touched on some of the reasons why a same-sex couple could have a difficult time getting a divorce.

One of the biggest obstacles couples are facing is that a limited number of states recognize same-sex marriage. Many couples have moved since marrying and are now attempting to divorce in a state that does not recognize their marriage. Although several couples have tried to fight this, most cases will require the couple to establish residency in a state that does recognize the marriage before they will be able to start the divorce proceedings. This can obviously be a time consuming process.

Another issue arises if the couple has children. In many instances, the biological parent will be the one to receive legal custody which could have a substantial impact on the proceedings. One suggestion is for the non-biological parent to adopt the child which would give them rights to the child as well in most cases.

Any same-sex Massachusetts couple trying to file for a divorce could benefit from researching the applicable state laws and determining the best way to move forward with necessary action. As mentioned earlier, if children are involved, a parent could benefit from taking additional steps to ensure all custody concerns are addressed. Having the proper knowledge can prove critical when dealing with such a serious life decision.

Source: NBC News, Gay divorce: It may not be as easy as the marriage, Judith Messina, Oct. 16, 2103

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